Hell Agin' the Barn Door (1)

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HELL AGIN' THE BARN DOOR [1]. AKA and see "Old Man Portell's Tune." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, Missouri. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB. Missouri fiddler Joe Politte (1900-1983) recorded the tune in the 1950's on a 78 RPM produced for square dancing. Drew Beisswenger (2008), in his discussion of "Old Man Portell's Tune", notes that there is a multi-fold confusion of titles and concludes that there is no evidence that source Politte ever called the tune "Hell Agin' the Barn Door." Rather, the name became associated with the tune via a remark by collector Bob Christeson (cited on the liner notes to "I'm Old But I'm Awfully Tough") that he heard the tune with that name played by Nebraska fiddler Bob Walters. No recording of the tune by Walters has been found, and other versions of "Hell Agin' the Barn Door" may have had a more closely documented connection with Walters. See note for "Old Man Portell's Tune" for more.

Source for notated version: Joe Politte (Mo.) [Phillips].

Printed sources: Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 1, 1994; p. 109.

Recorded sources: Missouri Friends of Folk Arts 1001, Joe Politte - "I'm Old But I'm Awfully Tough" (1977).




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